Supporting local small businesses isn’t just about customers. While Small Business Saturday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all great opportunities for local businesses and customers to come together to support the community, small business owners can take matters into their own hands. by partnering with other local business owners to promote their mutual success. .
Below, we’ve compiled a list of five ingenious ways small business owners can collaborate this season to increase revenue, get involved in the local community, and reach new customers.
Collaborating on events, marketing strategies, networking opportunities, or even sharing space are great ways for local businesses to grow from neighbors to allies. Building business partnerships can also help increase revenue, increase brand awareness, and allow businesses to continue serving both loyal customers and new customers.
1. Develop a strategic partnership
A strategic partnership is a relationship between two companies with similar products/services that come together for a mutually beneficial outcome. In this case, two small businesses would come together to promote each other to potentially increase sales and expand their audience.
Joint marketing initiatives
Using a strategic partnership to create a joint marketing campaign to promote a co-branded product/service that both companies can promote is a great way to increase brand exposure and open your business up to the public. of your strategic partner.
For example, a local cafe and bookstore could create specialty drinks inspired by famous literary characters and introduce a promotion that allows customers to get a discount at the bookstore if they come with one of the specialty drinks. We hope this will increase sales for both businesses while creating a unique opportunity for a fun marketing campaign.
Using social media for a strategic partnership is a great way to access new markets, stay on top of trends, and receive real-time customer feedback.
- Repost stories and feed posts to show your support.
- Advertise your business partner’s products on social accounts. Ask them to do the same.
- Implement a social media takeover, where the two companies swap social accounts for the day.
- Create a social media giveaway or contest where customers must like and follow both accounts to enter.
Use your current business newsletter and email campaigns as a way to promote and introduce your strategic business partner.
- Advertise your co-branded product.
- Share links to social media accounts and websites.
- Launch a discount in your company’s newsletter/email exclusively for subscribers.
- Use advertising space in your company’s newsletter/e-mail to promote your strategic partner’s products and vice versa.
2. Network with other local businesses
As a small business owner, finding time to network with other local businesses is extremely important. Networking is a great way to generate new leads. Something as simple as attending a local small business mix could create a new partnership that improves your business!
Attend a conference
- Meet like-minded business owners and share ideas.
- Find a company with which you would like to create a strategic partnership.
- Conferences can provide your company with a wealth of knowledge in your industry.
Join a local organization
- Join industry-specific organizations
- An association of small businesses
- The local chamber of commerce
- Local non-profit organizations
- It could give your business access to local resources
- These groups can provide development opportunities
- Meet and connect with similar small business owners in your community
3. Collaborative events
Collaborating with multiple companies around shared themes and industries can be a great opportunity for cross-promotion, brand awareness, and potentially reaching a new audience.
Join similar businesses to organize an event. For example, a hair salon, jewelry store, and bridal boutique might join forces to host a bridal event in their local community.
Host a pop-up
Pop-up events provide businesses with unique, special and exclusive opportunities to create buzz around their products/services.
- Start a recurring popup – once a month.
- Host a joint holiday pop-up event with tons of local businesses joining in.
- Join local businesses to provide customers with a unique and fun experience.
- A bakery and a dog store can create a puppy bakery pop-up
- A boutique could have a pop-up with local designers to sell unique products
Organize a meeting
- Set up a table for everyone to display their items.
- Ask each company to bring information materials to hand out.
- An easy way to break the ice with other local small business owners.
- Team up with neighboring businesses in similar fields to grow your customer base.
- Offer guest gift bags that include free samples and coupons for your products/services.
4. Create an incubator
A business incubator is a program for businesses designed to help with workspace, financing, mentorship and training. Create a members club for local businesses to come together, brainstorm ideas and exchange strategies with each other.
- Use this group to find other local stores your business would like to host an event or partner with.
- Provides a place where local businesses can come together to support each other through educational opportunities and community initiatives.
5. Share space
Sharing space with other small businesses can be a great way to save money, as well as collaborating with similar local businesses to create lasting partnerships.
- Rent space in a large company.
- Bars can rent spaces during the day before opening cafes or bakeries etc.
- Can help both companies access new markets.
- Team up with other businesses to create a space to share.
Financing your business partnership
Investing in small business financing solutions to help finance your business partnerships is a great way to start a successful relationship.
A small business line of credit allows businesses to borrow a fixed amount of funds that they can draw on when needed while only paying interest or fees on the amount they use. This type of revolving credit can be a valuable tool for small businesses to help them grow their partnerships.
Merchant Cash Advance
A merchant cash advance is an alternative short-term financing option that allows small businesses to access funds in exchange for a percentage of their future credit/debit card receivables. This makes it possible to adapt the payment term to the company’s sales flow.
Business credit card
Business credit cards are another tool to consider when looking to fund a business partnership. Business credit cards can help you provide short-term funding to launch your partnership by funding marketing campaigns or events.
Working with local small businesses can help deepen the connection both businesses have with their communities and gain emotional and professional support.
It is up to your company and your strategic partner to decide how to develop your partnership. Following some of these tips could help you create a strong and lasting partnership.